California's Naturopathic Licensure Bill Clears Final Legislative Hurdle
Action from Governor expected shortly
(Sacramento, Calif.) --- Completing a legislative journey that has lasted several years, a bill that would extend state licensure to clinically trained naturopathic doctors in California (SB 907) has been cleared by both the State Senate and Assembly. The decisive 62-9 vote in the Assembly late last week gave way to a procedural vote in the Senate where certain amendments needed to be considered. The Senate quickly approved the Assembly amendments, formally wrapping up the Legislature’s consideration of the measure. The bill has now advanced to the Governor’s desk for action.
“This is an historic day for the naturopathic profession, and the countless individuals and families in California who embrace a natural approach to healthcare,” stated Sally Lamont, N.D., Executive Director of the California Association of Naturopathic Physicians. “People all across the state have risen up to declare their support of the bill, and have made certain that their elected officials are informed about the benefits brought to bear by this profession,” she continued. “The principal issue in this measure is access, and we have taken a huge leap forward in expanding consumer access to natural medicine.”
With a stroke of the Governor’s pen, California will join 12 other states that have licensure laws in place for naturopathic doctors. Without licensure, naturopathic doctors in California are limited to practicing as health consultants. If this bill is signed into law, naturopathic doctors will be permitted to diagnose and treat disease, perform physical exams and laboratory tests, and work with a full range of natural and limited pharmacological therapies. Although these services are more limited than the extensive training required in naturopathic medical education, the bill significantly expands the scope of naturopathic medical practice in California, allowing consumers access to the natural healthcare benefits that naturopathic doctors provide.
Naturopathic medicine is a healing-oriented approach to healthcare that focuses on science-based lifestyle, nutritional, botanical, and homeopathic therapies. Naturopathic medical education is a four-year, graduate-level program that includes basic medical sciences, such as anatomy, biochemistry, and pathophysiology, as well as the study and application of natural therapies, such as clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, and health counseling. The naturopathic approach is dedicated to health promotion and disease prevention, using the best of what both conventional and alternative medicine have to offer.
SB 907 was sponsored by the California Association of Naturopathic Physicians. For more information on naturopathic medicine, visit www.canp.org.